Wednesday, May 18, 2011

ACBW Day 3: Crazy Mountain Brewery


The scene at Crazy Mountain was like something out of Craft Brew Magazine, if Craft Brew Magazine were real and full of giant glossy photos of good looking people brewing and drinking beer. It was perfectly sunny and sweatshirt-cool out. A group of drinkers were enjoying a very funny game of ladder golf (a/k/a “donkey balls”). Several medium-sized, well-behaved dogs looked on and took turns monitoring the grounds. A group of rugged gentlemen (a mountain frat, if you will) were gathered just outside the front door, being jovial. The garage bay next door was wide open and housed a group of women who sat on folding chairs in a circle and drank beer. Inside the tap room, a couple was sitting on the chairlift (you can’t be a mountain-anything without a chairlift. Even the zoo has chairlifts), enjoying each other’s company. At the oversized picnic table—adjacent to a wall bearing a pretty sick mountain mural—a dozen people sat or milled about. I snuck a photo of them and, while no one seems to be aware of the camera, every one of them is smiling. Roses grew right up out of the concrete floor and I’m pretty sure I saw a unicorn checking the temperature of the wort in the back. Normal Rockwell would have painted this scene if he were alive and toured breweries and hallucinated about unicorns.

I really liked the creative undercurrent at CMB. It reminded me a little of some of the northern Michigan breweries that are fearlessly and brilliantly experimental. I sampled three of CMB’s seasonals and was wowed by two. My favorite—both in name and substance—was the Apr├Ęs Cuvee.

This review is short mainly because my visit was short. I stopped into CMB only after being tipped off by my new Michigander friends, Ted and Amy, at Glenwood Canyon. But I still had a two-hour drive back to Denver. And a steady stream of thirsty mountain folks, taking advantage of $2 Tuesdays (right? It must be true. I tweeted it while I was there), kept derailing my otherwise pleasant conversation with Kevin, one of the owners, who was working the bar. I had so many questions, too: why “Crazy” Mountain? Who painted this sick mural? Why are you located under a Subway? How is it possible that you have more dogs than Subarus and Jeeps combined in your parking lot? So I’ll have to go back, with my dog and my unicorn. And my Normal Rockwell iPhone app.

A postscript about circled-up group of ladies in the garage next door: they call themselves “Females and Ales” and they are a women’s drinking club. They meet every other Tuesday and each female brings her favorite beer to pass according to a shifting theme. How great is that? It’s like a potluck of beers. Again, I didn’t have time to get the lowdown, but you can find much more detailed description Krista Driscoll's well-written article.

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